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Our Vision

Unlike other human rights trainings that focus primarily on legal analysis, the mission of the WHRI is to cultivate transformative, feminist leadership in the area of CEDAW and women’s human rights by empowering participants with the knowledge and understanding of how they can use these tools to create change in their own contexts.

The WHRI uniquely contextualizes the CEDAW Convention in both jurisprudence and practice, and offers in-depth study of how to apply its principles to diverse issues affecting women around the world.

The Four Pillars of the Women's Human Rights Education Institute


1. CEDAW: Women’s Human Rights Theory, Praxis, and Activism

  • Understanding basic notions and principles of human rights law and practice
  • Mastery of the core principles and substantive framework of the CEDAW, including the principles of substantive equality, non-discrimination and state obligation
  • Understanding WHR through CEDAW jurisprudence & NGO activism
  • CEDAW as a visionary tool to promote the realization of women’s human rights

3. Human Rights Education, Teaching, & Learning

  • The right to know your rights: education as a key component of human rights praxis
  • Theoretical approaches to education and training on human rights
  • Participatory exploration of training and educational techniques
  • Workshop planning and facilitation skills

2. Feminist Frameworks

  • History and development of the international women’s human rights movement
  • Understanding patriarchal paradigms- structures of violence and oppression
  • Intersectionality – diversity and commonality amongst women
  • Feminist methodologies and analysis, and collaborative feminist knowledge-building

4. Living Our Rights: Relationships, Self-care and Sustainability

  • Protection of human rights defenders and activist sustainability
  • Reclaiming the body: wellness and self-care as a political and personal act
  • Embodied Learning: new and transformative paradigms
  • Human rights in all areas of life: conscious communication & conflict resolution; decolonization of the mind and body; collaborative and transformative approaches to leadership

Our Funders & Partner Organizations

The Channel Foundation promotes leadership in women’s human rights around the globe by supporting organizations engaged in combating gender inequality. Through grant-making, advocacy, and collaboration with an international network of women’s rights organizations and funders, we create opportunities in order to ensure that women’s rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled.

The Centre for Women’s Studies in Education (CWSE) is a research centre of the University of Toronto, housed within the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Established in July 1983 and designed to foster feminist scholarship, teaching and activism relevant to education, broadly defined, CWSE consists of faculty, staff, students, researchers and educators in the larger feminist community within and outside of the university. As well as functioning as an academic institution, CWSE strives to connect scholarship, education and activism through constructive and critical dialogues with feminist communities locally, nationally and globally.

The Global Fund for Women is a publicly supported, non-profit grant making foundation that  advances women’s human rights by funding women-led organizations worldwide. They provide general operating support grants to organizations working at the local, regional and national levels to enable women and girls to reach their potential and live free of discrimination and violence.

Founded in 1990 at the ímpetus of Director Alda Facio, the Fundación Justicia y Género of the United Nations Latin American Institute for Crime Prevention (ILANUD) is based in Costa Rica and works throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The Program centers its work around the elimination of gender inequality and violence against women from a criminal and human rights perspective, doing research on the different forms of discrimination against diverse groups of women, analyzing the laws and legal doctrine and training judges, police, lawyers and women’s groups in the human rights of women and the incorporation of gender sensitive perspectives in the analysis of legal texts and contexts.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canada’s largest union.  With around 600, 000 members across Canada, CUPE represents workers in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines.  A strong and democratic union, CUPE is committed to improving the quality of life for workers in Canada.

Founded in 1993, International Women’s Rights Action Watch-Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP), has worked to contribute to the progressive interpretation and realisation of the human rights of women through the lens of the UN Convention on the Elimination Against All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and other international human rights treaties. IWRAW-AP promotes the domestic implementation of international human rights standards by building the capacity of women and human rights advocates to claim and realise women’s human rights. IWRAW-AP created and maintains the Global to Local program focussed on filling the gap between the CEDAW convention processes and grassroots activism of NGOs.  

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